Sep 29, 2009

Diana Laurence - Interview and Contest

The contest portion has closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Please welcome Diana Laurence, author of How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful. Read this helpful interview. It will be your chance to find out everything you ever wanted to know about those dicey, tricky relationships with vampires. At the end of the interview look for contest information.

PVN: Although your book is aimed at women would men also find it useful?

Diana: Definitely, and for a couple of reasons at least.  First of all, there are plenty of men out there who like vampires (why else would Playboy have a vampire issue recently? LOL), and much of my advice applies likewise to them.  And secondly, there are quite a few men who’d like to better understand the appeal of vampires to females, and I explain that too.  (But to any guys hoping to use the book as a guide to pose as a vampire themselves, I highly discourage that.  The real vampires don’t take well to posers, believe me.)

PVN: When did you first find yourself attracted to vampires?

Diana: When I was really young I read Carmilla, which is actually about a female vampire, and was fascinated.  And then when I was 17 I saw the Dracula movie with Frank Langella in the title role and was absolutely hooked.  He was mysterious, dangerous, scary and compelling.  I’d always been drawn to hypnotists in movies (there were quite a few hypnotists in 50s and 60s movies, oddly), and Frank’s Dracula was like a more romantic, elegant form of hypnotist.  And dead sexy too.  Anyway, from that point on I was a die hard vampirophile:  Anne Rice, “The Lost Boys,” “Buffy,” and all that.

PVN: In your opinion is it all right to date more than one vampire at a time?

Diana: Absolutely.  As a society the undead are not especially into monogamy, Bill and Edward not withstanding.  It’s not actually bad at all, for I find vampires have the amazing knack to be really into you even though they are likewise really into others at the same time.  That’s a hard concept for mortals to get their mind around, so I discuss it at length in the book.  Anyway, I think it’s especially beneficial to balance dates with “bad” (not evil) vampires and good ones.  For example, I’ll go to a club with the dark and nasty Mordred one night, and then to a vampire ball with the sweet-spirited Aidan the next.

PVN: Who is your current vampire love interest? What is he like?

Diana: I spread the affection around with a whole crew of immortals, but I do have one special guy, as you learn in the book.  His name is Conner, and he was born in Britain at the time of Chaucer.  He tells the best stories of all my vampire friends, and being a writer, I love that.  Conner is reminiscent of Bill Compton in that he’s the protective, guardian angel sort.  (Towards me anyway—he can be vicious when he needs to be.)  Doesn’t hurt either that he has long, dark, wavy hair and bottomless brown eyes and a face that makes you want to stare at him till your heart falls out.

PVN: Are you at all interested in becoming a vampire?

Diana: Of course anyone who hangs around with the undead is going to occasionally want to join them.  Picturing yourself immortal, impervious to disease, able to stay up all night and never needing the benefit of makeup, you certainly are tempted.  And as a person whose best 5K time was 30 minutes, I envy that vampiric high-speed-darting a lot.  However, there are some serious cons to being a vampire, some of which are not what you might think.  This is another issue I address, with an entire chapter, in the book.

PVN: Why did you decide to write this book?

Diana: It’s an interesting story.  In fact, my editor at Sellers Publishing, Robin Haywood, had the idea to publish a vampire dating guide.  She starting searching the Web for someone to author it and came upon an essay of mine about vampires that I wrote four years ago.  She offered me the gig, and I immediately thought it was a fabulous idea.  With my background—associating with vampires and writing about them—I was totally thrilled to do the book.  I think if I had hesitated for a minute, Mordred would have insisted otherwise anyway, and by “insisted” I mean employing his hypnotic swirly-eyes and compelling me.  Wait a sec…is there any chance he might have done that?  No, no, I’m sure it was my idea, I was thinking quite clearly when I signed the contract.  :-)

PVN: Are there any vampire novels that come close to describing real vampires?

Diana: I just started reading Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books, having become a huge fan of “True Blood” on HBO.  I think she does a terrific job in so many ways, as do Alan Ball and the writers of the TV show.  Eric Northman reminds me of my friend Gunnar, and is illustrative of what I term “bad” vampires:  immortals who employ a nasty persona mostly because we enjoy it so much.  Gunnar is demanding and pushy and often downright scary, but I’ll catch him smiling at my reaction because he knows that I like it when he scares me.  Isn’t that just like a vampire?  Anyway, although I hadn’t seen “True Blood” yet when I wrote the book, Charlaine and I definitely run with similar vampire crowds.

PVN: What are some of your other writing projects?

Diana: I have ten other titles in print, mostly imaginative and spicy romance.  Also in 2009 I released a short story collection called Soulful Sex: Erotic Tales of Fantasy and Romance Volumes I & II, and a psychological thriller on psychic vampirism called Looking on Darkness.  My most popular book is my 2007 vampire romance novel Bloodchained; I will be releasing the sequel Bloodchained 2: The Secret of Secrets in late November 2009.  Almost all my works seem to have a vampire or vampiric character appear in them somewhere.  I could blame the influence of my undead friends on that:  they are a persuasive bunch.

PVN: Where can readers find you?

Diana: My Web site is and is chock full of info, including a “vampire” page that will direct readers to relevant works (including my free vampire short story “Playacting”).  My blog is called “Erotica with Soul” and is at  I post about the romantic and erotic in pop culture and psychology, and needless to say, vampire topics arise a lot.  The official site for my Bloodchained series.  And I especially encourage your readers to visit, where they can interact with me and my vampire pals.  Facebook users can become a fan of the book at, and stay apprised of events, contests, site updates, and so on.  And lastly, to see my video interview, please visit  My immortal friends think it’s rather hilarious.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to visit with your readers, Patricia!  I’m always thrilled to meet more vampirophiles and spread the vampire love.

And thank you, Diana, for sharing your unique perspective on love and vampires!

Now for the contest. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful

To be eligible do one or more of the following:
* Leave a comment
* Ask Diana a question
* Link this interview to your own site or a social network site, and be sure to let me know the URL

If your email is not associated with your ID, please put the address in your response.

Contest ends October 1, 2009 at 11:59 PM Hawaii Time.

Sep 26, 2009

Kristin Landon'sThe Hidden Worlds Trilogy - SF Review

I rarely review any genre outside the paranormal, but I am going to make an exception with the The Hidden Worlds trilogy by Kristin Landon. I had seen positive references to it on a few other blog sites. Looked quite interesting. I thought I would read it when I needed a break from all things paranormal. At the time there was no thought to writing a review. That changed when, for no reason I can explain, the publisher sent me a copy of The Dark Reaches (Book 3), the final installment in the series. First thing was to buy The Cold Minds (Book 2), and The Hidden Worlds (Book 1). To understand and enjoy Landon's work the books should be read in order.

The stories mesh together so tightly that I won't even attempt to review each one lest any spoilers pop up. Here is the bare outline.

Alien machines called the Cold Minds have invaded Earth and its solar system. They kill swiftly and without mercy. Much of humanity manages to escape by taking all available ships through other space, a dimension that allows travel through great galactic distances. The heroes are the jump pilots. They are the only ones who can safely maneuver other space. In this way most of humanity escapes. They now live in colonies on the Hidden Worlds.

Ian sen Paolo  is one of the elite. He is a jump pilot who lives with those of his kind on the planet Nexus. It is assumed that the members of this exclusive male group are the only ones capable of piloting a ship. The ruling council allows only certain of their pilots to procreate. Only sons are born to them, and the women who bear the children are carefully selected and well paid. They are surrogate mothers who will never see their children again. Pilots consider themselves superior to other humans and, because of their unique gift, that's how they are treated.

Linnea Kiaho comes from one of the poor outer planets. In a desperate move to get money for her family she travels to Nexus carrying with her a secret that could destroy the privileged position of Ian's family, and perhaps the exclusive status of all jump pilots. When she first arrives on Nexus Linnea works as Ian's servant. He is the typically arrogant pilot, but then his world suddenly collapses. Linnea, who knows his secret, is caught with him in the same trap. Out of necessity they learn to lean on each other and from this their love does develop - not easily and not smoothly. There are no hearts and flowers for their romance.

Landon's powerful writing puts you deep into the mind of each character. The reader experiences their joy or pain as if each moment reader and character are one. Landon's imagination has created a vivid universe with gritty realism. Life can be very harsh either because of the physical surroundings or the brutal political power games. The story is so gripping and the characters so lifelike that reading becomes almost an addiction. You desperately want to know what happens next; yet you don't want the story to end.

The Hidden Worlds
Ace (June 26, 2007)

The Cold Minds
Ace (June 24, 2008)

The Dark Reaches
Ace (June 30, 2009)

The League Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon - Promo

Good news for Sherrilyn Kenyon fans the first book from The League Series, Born of Night, will be available Tuesday September 29th. Sherrilyn is best known to vampire fiction readers for the Dark-Hunter books.

An overview of The League series: In the Ichidian Universe, The League and their ruthless assassins rule all. Expertly trained and highly valued, the League Assassins are the backbone of the government. But not even the League is immune to corruption . .

Command Assassin Nykyrian Quikiades once turned his back on the League—and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him or stop him from completing his current mission: to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father’s political alliance has made her a target.

As her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new threaten them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them the most: each other.

Read an excerpt of Born of Night

Books in The League series:

Born of Night (A League Novel) St. Martin's Paperbacks (September 29, 2009)
Born of Fire (A League Novel)St. Martin's Paperbacks (November 3, 2009)
Born of Ice (A League Novel) St. Martin's Paperbacks (December 1, 2009)

Background on how the series came to be: "Sherri originally planned for the League to be an ongoing series. She wrote 5 complete novels and started on five more. The first novel was bought and published by Kensington. The proposal for the second and third novels, Born of Fire and Born of Desire, remained there for over two years as option books that were never purchased.

"The fourth finished book, Paradise City was purchased by Dorchester and ended up being the first book to make it into print. Sadly, Dorchester passed on the next three books in the series, as well as the manuscript for Night Pleasures that would have launched the Dark-Hunter books.

"Born of Fire was ultimately completed and ended up being the first ebook published by a New York author in 1996. Fire and Ice, which was the sequel to Paradise City was cut down and then published as a novella (it alone has remained in print since the day it was published. Berkley will rerelease it in March 2010).

Caillen's story remains finished, but unpublished.

Trailer for Born of Night

Sep 25, 2009

Unpcoming Event - Interview & Contest with Author Diane Laurence

On Tuesday September 29 Diana Laurence, author of How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-By-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful, will answer questions by PVN and readers. This will be your chance to find out everything you ever wanted to know about those dicey, tricky relationships with vampires. All participants will have a chance to win a copy of her book.

"Why do perfectly normal people fall for such sinister beings?
And more importantly, what should we do about it when we do?

"Diana Laurence knows.

"With loads of personal experience to draw upon, Diana does everything from explaining the attraction to blood-drinkers, to sharing what red satin ribbon signifies to them. In this book, she has created a road map to show readers how a vampire relationship can be achieved and conducted in harmony with everyday existence. Diana is here to guide you on this challenging but rewarding journey, as she notes in the Introduction:

"I’m not claiming this quest is without its challenges. Having a successful relationship never is. And it’s even tougher when you throw in the special problems of being with a vampire: his ego, the crazy hours, your inability to deny him anything, his natural aversions to garlic and monogamy.
There will be days that being in love with a vampire will seem like, for lack of a better word, a curse. But take heart; I’m here to be your guide, and show you that you do have the wherewithal to balance your vampirophilia with a full, happy, successful life.

"By the time we’re done you’ll know all you need to realize your dreams of bringing a real vampire into your life."

Red Gold Bridge - Review

Red Gold Bridge
by Patrice Sarath
Ace (June 30, 2009

[reviewed by Breia Brickey

A year ago, Lynn Romano and Kate Mossland stumbled through the gordath, a portal between our world and Aeritan. They survived and returned from that world- but not without a price.
When Lynn passed through the gordath into Aeritan’s war-ravaged society, the man who loved her followed. But while Lynn fought her way back, Joe found his destiny and stayed behind. Worlds apart, Lynn and Joe have not forgotten each other, but neither expects to see the other again.
When Kate returned from Aeritan, she brought Colar- a young man whose wounds would have been fatal in that primitive society - with her. But despite his ties to the girl who saved his life, Earth is no place for this Aeritan-born man.
Now, as the rumble of the gordath echoes through both worlds, danger from Aeritan has come for both Lynn and Kate. A powerful Aeritan general- driven by his obsession with Kate- has crossed through to Earth and assembled an army of outcasts. This time the battle will rage not only in Aeritan, but also in our world. And all involved must choose, finally, which world they belong.

This was a fascinating tale straddling two worlds that switched from character to character so flawlessly that it was barely a blip on the radar. Wonderful, flawed characters, awesome settings and a great storyline make for a story not to be missed. I didn’t read the first book, but this book had enough back story that it was easy to keep up. I enjoyed this story so much that I am now on the look out for a copy of the first book, Gordath Wood (Ace Fantasy Book).

Breia Brickey

Sep 21, 2009

Lucan by Susan Kearney - Contest

Lucan (Pendragon Legacy)
by Susan Kearney
Forever (September 5, 2009)

[The contest portion of this post has closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!]

From the publisher: Healer and high priestess of her people, Lady Cael is fated to life without a mate. But a mysterious explorer named Lucan Rourke doesn't know her secrets, and his touch makes her crave a future that her extraordinary birthright has forbidden her. . .

Lucan has just one mission on Pendragon: to find the mythical Holy Grail, Earth's only hope for survival. His powerful attraction to Cael is a distraction he can't afford, unless he convinces her to join forces with him. Yet working so closely together only heightens their passion . . . even when the terrifying truth of Cael's heritage threatens to shatter Lucan's every belief-and the galaxy itself.

Read an excerpt

For an excellent interview with Susan go to Yankee Romance Reviewers. She discusses her thoughts on the Arthurian legends and how she incorporated this into this trilogy. Yes, there are two more books coming, and they are already on my must read list. Although I haven't posted a review on Lucan, I have read and enjoyed it. The story of Arthur with a strong SF element works in a quite interesting way. Good characters. Good story. Good writing. What more can a reader want?

Book 2 in the series Rion (Pendragon Legacy) will be available November 24.


Marisa Rourke is a beautiful, fearless telepath who tames dragonshapers on Earth. Rion is a tall, dark, and sexy space explorer whose home planet is a galaxy away. The attraction between them is undeniable, but Rion is hiding a desperate secret that will change Marisa's life forever.


Marisa's gift is the only way Rion can communicate with his people, enslaved by a powerful enemy. He knows that kidnapping her is wrong, but saving his planet is worth sparking the fiery clairvoyant's fury. Yet hotter-and more explosive-is the psychic bond growing between Marisa and Rion. Could their passion be the key to freeing Rion's people? Only if he and Marisa can discover how to channel their desire . . . before a vicious enemy destroys them all.

Read an excerpt

Book three is JORDAN (Pendragon Legacy). (Forever March 2010)


[The contest portion of this post has closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!]

Hachette Books is offering a copy of Lucan to 5 lucky commenters.

Please Note: Only U.S. and Canadian residents are eligible. Sorry no P.O. Boxes

*Leave a comment (each comment equals one entry)
*Post a link to your site or a social network. Be sure to let me know the link. (each link equals one entry)

If your email address is not part of you commenter ID please post your email address.

Contest runs until Oct. 13, 2009 11:59 PM Hawaii Time

Best of luck to everyone!

Sep 16, 2009

Dracula: The Un-Dead A Vampire Novel Review

Dracula The Un-Dead
by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
Dutton, October 13, 2009

The events in this novel take place in 1912, twenty-four years after similar events described in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The  survivors of the attack on Count Dracula have suffered much mental anguish since their encounter with the vampire. Mina and Jonathan Harker's marriage is terribly strained. Their son Quincy Harker, born after the adventure in Transylvania and now an adult, is estranged from his stern father. He knows nothing of the encounter with Dracula, and both Jonathan and Mina feel it best to keep secret the horrors they witnessed. Jack Seward, the doctor who brought in Van Helsing when a mysterious ailment overtook  Mina's friend Lucy, still fights an evil like the one he and his companions first encountered. He sustains his sanity with heroin.

A demonic force haunts London and is insinuating itself into the lives of the heroic survivors. Elizabeth Bathory, the famed Bloody Countess of 16th century Hungary who thought to keep her beauty by bathing in the blood of young maidens, has arrived.

Over the strenuous objection of his father young Quincy Harker wants more than anything to become an actor. In the course of this quest he meets Bram Stoker, a bitter individual who has had little success with his vampire novel. He hopes to gain more recognition by putting it on as a play. When Quincy reads the story he is dumbfounded to discover the names of his parents as well as others he knew while growing up. How Stoker came upon this information is only one of the several mysteries to be solved. Many complex layers are woven throughout this fast paced, mesmerizing tale.

Dracula scholar Dr. Elizabeth Miller has written a fascinating Afterwords which discusses the various characters and events in both novels. But be warned this essay contains many spoilers.

Although helpful it is not necessary to be familiar with Stoker's novel. Enough of that story is incorporated so that any reader can follow. This is truly a unique twist on the saga of  Dracula who is considered a hero in his native Romania.

[But if you would like more info go to this POST for a list of characters in Dracula]

Note:  Author Dacre Stoker is Bram Stoker's great grandnephew. For more information about the book and the authors go to the Dracula: The Un-Dead web site.

Christine Feehan & Project Paranormal

Penguin has an interesting online series, which I recently discovered, called Project Paranormal. The first episode I saw (actually episode 4) centered on Christine Feehan. All of her series are mentioned, but there is one video interview where she discusses her vampire series, the Carpathians. A personal tragedy was the impetus for these dark romantic tales. To see the Carpathian interview go to the Project Paranormal site.  The featured book is Feehan's Dark Slayer
(Berkley, Sept. 1, 2009) In the video below Feehan discusses her writing.

An interview with Christine Feehan.

Other Project Paranormal Episodes:

Episode 1: J.R. Ward: Behind the Black Dagger Brotherhood

"This episode features the incredibly popular, #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward and her brand-new release Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7) —which is now in stores and an instant bestseller. J.R. Ward will take you behind the scenes of her thrilling series, introduce you to the brothers, and disclose her writing process, and what's up next for her. Also in this program you'll get a chance to hear from two of our top editors on the hottest new trends in paranormal romance (think vampires, shapeshifters, werewolves, and more!) and what should be on the top of your reading pile this Summer."

Episode 2: Laurell K. Hamilton: The Start of a Phenomenon

"Episode Two of Project Paranormal takes readers to the heart of the paranormal genre with a behind-the-scenes look at #1 New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton. Readers will have the opportunity to hear the genesis of the series from Laurell herself through an in-depth interview, as well as a discussion of her latest bestseller Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 17). In addition, interviews with the cover art director behind the many looks of Laurell's novels, as well as her editor, give readers the chance to learn first-hand what makes the Anita Blake series unique, both inside and out."

Episode 3: Spotlight on Romance Writers of America

"This special installment of Project Paranormal takes readers behind the scenes of the 2009 Romance Writers of America convention. Here, we sit down with J. D. Robb as she discusses collaborating on anthologies with her friends; Jim Butcher and his wife, Shannon, as they elaborate on being married writers; J. R. Ward and Jessica Andersen as they illustrate how their different writing styles make them the best critique partners; and Jayne Castle as she reveals her own insights on paranormal fiction. We also take to the hallways of RWA to find out just why readers love this convention so much."

Sep 14, 2009

Dark Hunger by Rita Herron Contest

Dark Hunger (Demonborn)
by Rita Herron
Forever (August 1, 2009)
Book 2 in the Demonborn series

From the publisher: Reporter Annabelle Armstrong will go to any lengths to deliver a story, even track down Quinton Valtrez, a man she believes is a cold-hearted assassin. Quinton has fought his demonic powers since he was a child. Now using his gifts for the good of national security, he can't let himself be distracted by the beautiful, determined Annabelle. A wicked enemy is out for vengeance, a demon who wants to draw Quinton into a life of pure evil and is willing to use Annabelle as bait. To save her, Quinton must achieve the near impossible: tame the sinister force that is both his inheritance and his curse before it claims him forever.

Read an excerpt.

Insatiable Desire (The Demonborn)
Forever, September 1, 2008) is Book 1 in the Demonborn series.

Also available in e-book.
Read an excerpt.
Check out the Fun Facts.
Go to to learn more about the characters, the legend, symbols, and the series.
Visit Rita Herron’s website.

Contest Information:

Hatchette Books is offering a copy of Dark Hunger to 5 lucky commenters.

Please Note: Only U.S. and Canadian residents are eligible. Sorry no P.O. Boxes

For an entry
*Leave a comment


*Post a link to your site or a social network. Be sure to let me know the link.

If your email address is not part of you commenter ID please post your email address.

Contest runs until Oct. 5, 2009 11:59 PM Hawaii Time

Best of luck to everyone!

Sep 11, 2009

Undead Update Sept. 10, 2009

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange (Sourcebook, August, 2009) continues to gain attention. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but this one is definitely on the TBR shelf.


In the summer of 1816, Lord Byron and his personal physician, Dr. John William Polidori, were traveling in Switzerland and soon discovered Percy Bysshe Shelley and his lover, Mary Godwin (soon-to-be Mrs. Shelley) were staying nearby. The group became fast friends, each sharing a passion for the written word. One night, Lord Byron proposed they each author their own scary short stories to see who could conceive the most terrifying tale. Byron wrote “Fragment of a Novel,” and quickly abandoned his attempt. Shelley wrote “Fragment of a Ghost Story”—which wasn’t published until much later. Mary Godwin wrote what would eventually evolve into her masterpiece, Frankenstein. Dr. Polidori wrote The Vampyre, one of the first vampiric tales in English literature. For years it was attributed to Lord Byron, but soon enough, as the character of Count Dracula gained popularity and momentum, Dr. Polidori was given his due credit.
In Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, Darcy’s mysterious uncle, Count Polidori, serves as homage to the story’s place in history. And at the time that Darcy and Elizabeth take their wedding tour through Europe, Dr. Polidori and Mary Shelley would have been in Switzerland creating the beginnings of their terrifying tales!

“For two such enduring stories to come out of one evening is truly remarkable,” says Amanda Grange, on her blog,

Hope you had a chance to watch the premier of Vampire Diaries last night on CW. I would love to hear your thoughts!
Here is an article from the about the series which as most of you know is based on the books of L. J. Smith.

I have posted a list of September Vampire Book releases on VampChix

Here are a few selected titles:

Hot for the Holidays
by Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Anya Bast
Allyson James
Jove (September 29, 2009)

Featuring four all-new novellas of sensual surprises and seasonal spirits, this collection includes a new tale of the Breeds from Lora Leigh and a return to the world of the Mageverse from Angela Knight.

Vampire a Go-Go: A Novel
by Victor Gischle
Touchstone (September 1, 2009)

Victor Gischler is a master of the class-act literary spoof, and his work has drawn comparison to that of Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, and Thomas Pynchon. Now, Gischler turns his attention to werewolves, alchemists, ghosts, witches, and gun-toting Jesuit priests in Vampire a Go-Go, a hilarious romp of spooky, Gothic entertainment. Narrated by a ghost whose spirit is chained to a mysterious castle in Prague, Gischler's latest is full of twists and surprises that will have readers screaming -- and laughing -- for more.

Retribution (Anna Strong Vampire Chronicles, Book 5)
by Jeanne C. Stein
Ace, September, 2009

With her partner out of town, her family abroad, and her mentor estranged, newly-turned vampire Anna Strong is keeping a low profile.

But now young vampires are turning up dead, completely drained of their life force. And though Anna wants to say no when Williams, her former teacher and now leader of a supernatural enforcement squad, asks for her help, she can't. But soon, she'll wish she did.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For the complete list visit VampChix

If you are a Twilight fan and plan to be in the UK at the end of September you might want to check out:

In the Shadow of the Moon
Twilight Proms

The guests for the event are: Kellan Lutz "Emmett Cullen", Chaske Spencer "Sam Uley" and Jose Zuniga "Mr. Molina". 
For more information got to Twilight Proms

I am currently reading:

By Blood We Live
by John Joseph Adams (Editor),
Stephen King , Kelley Armstrong, L. A. Banks, Neil Gaiman, Sergei Lukyanenko, Harry Turtledove, Anne Rice, Joe Hill, Tanith Lee
Night Shade Books (August 15, 2009)

"Vampires. They are the most elegant of monsters--ancient, seductive, doomed, deadly. They lurk in the shadows, at your window, in your dreams. They are beautiful as anything you ve ever seen, but their flesh is cold as the grave, and their lips taste of blood. From Dracula to Twilight, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to True Blood, many have fallen under their spell. Now acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams brings you 33 of the most haunting vampire stories of the past three decades, from some of today s most renowned authors of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

"Charming gentlemen with the manners of a prior age. Savage killing machines who surge screaming from hidden vaults. Cute little girls frozen forever in slender bodies. Long-buried loved ones who scratch at the door, begging to be let in. Nowhere is safe, not mist-shrouded Transylvania or the Italian Riviera or even a sleepy town in Maine. This is a hidden world, an eternal world, where nothing is long as you re willing to pay the price."

Most of the stories are reprinted from other sources. I am familiar with a few, but most are brand new to me. I just finished Sunrise on Running Water  by Barbara Hambly (one of my favorite writers) which is an amusing tale on a series subject, the sinking of the Titanic. The humor comes from a vampire, with a sarcastic turn of mind, who finds himself aboard the unsinkable ship.

Sep 10, 2009

My Interview at Ink and Paper

Jo at Ink and Paper (a terrific fantasy review site) has added me to her list of interviewees. I feel very honored.

For the past several months she has been doing book blogger interviews and now I have been added.

If you have a chance please stop by.

Thanks a bunch, Jo

Sep 8, 2009

Jessica Lee - Guest Blog and Contest

Please welcome Jessica Lee author of the erotic vampire novel Desire to Die For (Loose-Id, 2009).

Interview with Desire to Die For’s Master of the Enclave : Kenric St. James
by Jessica Lee

I have the special privilege today to be allowed access to the compound where the Master of the Enclave, Kenric St. James has granted me a private interview.

Surprisingly, this larger-than-life warrior is very laid back and has shown me to the kitchen at his home, which also serves as the headquarters for his Enclave of vampires. The over six-foot warrior claims the head of the table, and then motions for me to take the seat beside him. I’m by no means a small woman, but the all-consuming presence of this man --er, vampire is quite intimidating. And at the same time, exhilarating.

JL “Would you like to get right down to business, Mr. St. James?”

KSJ “You sound like my kind of woman, Ms. Lee”

JL The deep rumble of his voice and the implication of his words, jerks my head in his direction. He smiles, and I can’t help but smile back. An instant blast of heat rushes to my cheeks, and I drop my gaze back to my notes. I have to keep this professional. Flirting with a vampire…not ever a good idea. Especially with one that oozed power and felt as lethal as the one sitting next to me. “So, I take it that’s a yes,” I finally manage to say.

KSJ “Yes, what’s your first question for me?”

JL “Well, since you opened the door with that last statement. Exactly what kind of woman is your type, Mr. St. James? You’re over three-hundred-years old, I assume you’ve met more than your fair share. Is there a type woman left on the planet that can captivate you?” He straightens in his chair, and the smile dies on his face. In its place, a hardened, cold expression forms that makes me immediately sorry I’d brought the subject back up.

KSJ “Irrelevant, Ms. Lee”

JL “Irrelevant? I don’t understand. You may be a vampire, but from what I know about vampires, you’re still a…functioning man, right?” His head swivels in my direction, and the dark lines that form his brows lower.

KSJ “I was not implying that I was impotent, Jessica.” He leans over the table, bringing his face a little closer to mine. “I can assure you that’s not the problem.” Kenric eases back in his chair and pulls a blade from his thigh, rolling it in his palm.

JL “Oh…okay.” A shiver runs down my spine. If I’d had any doubts, the amount of testosterone that had just hovered over the table blew them all away. “Can you tell me what you did mean then? Why doesn’t it matter what kind of woman is your type?”

KSJ What sounds like a low growl rumbles from his side of the table then his eyes lift to mine. “One name: Marguerite Devonshire. My sire.” He slams the blade into the table. Almost launching me from seat with his suddenness move. The sharp edge wedges into the wood and the dagger stands on its nose. Kenric tosses a look my way that sucks the air from my lungs. Fire swirls around his pupils. And it’s a sight I’ll never forget. Quickly, I divert my gaze. “She’s obsessed with me.” He continues as if nothing had happened. “As long as I refuse her as my mate, she’s determined to destroy any woman who holds a place in my bed. Until I can hunt her down and destroy her, I can’t take that risk. Besides, my existence as head of the Enclave brings nothing but danger and death at my door. What woman in her right mind would want to be a part of my life? It’s better this way. This is what I know. What I can control.”

JL I rub my hands briskly over my upper arms. The room has suddenly turned as cold as a tomb.

KSJ “Cold, Ms. Lee?”

JL My gaze darts to his, the fire was gone now, leaving only the most beautiful clear blue eyes. With his black-as-sin wavy hair and thick eyelashes that hovered over eyes the color of tropical waters, Kenric St. James was a woman’s wet dream come to life.

KSJ “Are you cold, Jessica?”

JL “Oh.” I guess I’d never responded the first time. I nod my head. “A little.”

KSJ “Sorry about that. A drop in temperature can sometimes be a side effect when a vampire, at least of my years, experiences strong emotion. That’s why control is a coveted discipline in this Enclave. It should feel warmer soon.”

JL “I see. You mentioned the Enclave, can you tell me a little bit about what you do?”

KSJ “My warriors and I defend the human population from the Death Euphoria addicted vampires who roam the streets, looking for their next fix. Their next kill.”

JL “Why don’t more people know about this threat to our existence?”

KSJ “Because we’re doing our job.” He leaned forward once more. “And pray that they never have to find out.”

JL I open my mouth to respond but another warrior, looking as dark and lethal as Kenric comes through the door. He steps to Kenric’s side, leans in, and whispers in his ear. The warrior glances my way while and quirks his lip in my direction. He winks. My pen slips from my hand and pings off the floor. Oh my God. I reach over to retrieve my Bic from the floor, but another hand beats me to it. Kenric is on his feet, and I never even heard him move. Slowly, as I lift my head, my eyes follow the hard muscles of his thighs up past flat abs that surely held an eight pack to the handsome planes of his face. From this new angle, I notice a pale scar bisecting his right cheek. It makes me wonder what other atrocities this Master of the Enclave has lived through in his past. I take my pen from his hand. “Thank you.”

KSJ “My second in command, Guerin--“ He indicates the exotic looking warrior at his side -- “has informed me of something I have to personally take care of. I’m sorry, but our interview is over.”

JL “Of course, I understand.” I grab my notepad and rise from the table.

KSJ “My assistant, Michael, will show you out.” He pivots to leave then stops, turning partially back to face me. A smile warms his face for a brief moment, but long enough to make my toes curl before it vanishes. “It was a pleasure meeting you in person, Jessica.”

JL I can’t stop the grin I know is beaming on my face. “I feel the same way, Kenric.”

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a little about the mysterious Master of the Enclave, Kenric St. James. I had a blast!

Here’s a little bit about Kenric and Emily’s story:

Kenric St. James wants revenge. After two centuries of denying his body’s needs and with vengeance finally at hand, the last thing he expected to find was the one woman he burns to claim as his own. If only giving her his love wouldn’t surely mean her death.

All Emily Ross desires is time alone to learn who she is without a man and to save the home that holds her heart. The last thing she wants is another controlling, dominant male calling all the shots, in bed and out. Never would she have thought stopping her car one night to save a dying man might change her mind, and her life, forever. But is what they have, their desire, worth dying for?

What great Alpha Male characters have you been wishing that they too would grant you a very special private interview?
Leave a comment today and I’ll randomly draw one lucky winners name to win a $10 Loose Id gift certificate.
The contest will run until Friday September 11 at 11:59 PM.


Sep 6, 2009

Upcoming Event - Guest Blogger Jessica Lee

On Tuesday September 8 Patricia's Vampire Notes welcomes Jessica Lee author of the erotic romance novel Desire to Die For. As a special treat Jessica will interview her luscious vampire protagonist Kenric St. James.

There will also be a prize for one lucky commenter.

 Please stop by and say hello!

Drood by Dan Simmons - Review

Drood: A Novel
by Dan Simmons
Little Brown, 2009

[reviewed by Sandy Rainey]

Warning: Dan Simmons' Drood is a heavy lift, in every sense of the term. It comes in at 771 pages, more than a hundred pages longer than Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian; it is definitely not the book to tote to the beach, unless you plan to do arm curls with it between chapters. By turns hard to put down and hard to pick up, it will teach you more about Victorian literary stars William Wilkie Collins and the incomparable Charles Dickens than you ever wanted to know. It will thrill you, disgust you, and toy with your loyalties more than you might like. It will challenge your powers of endurance and interpretation, and it will sometimes try your patience. Ultimately, though, Drood is a journey worth taking, and readers with a taste for the macabre who count Dickens among their interests should not miss it.

William Wilkie Collins narrates our odyssey through the last five years of Dickens' life. Actually, the book spans many more years than that; Collins first befriended Dickens in 1851 and collaborated with him frequently until Dickens' death in 1870, and our narrator moves dizzyingly backward and forward through time, mixing his present and his past to enrich (and complicate) his tale with much foreshadowing and backfill. More disconcerting still: Collins was an insatiable opium and laudanum addict; there is no knowing—ever—what in his account is reality and what is a product of his severely drug-addled brain. Yet another twist is added in that Collins is utterly consumed with jealousy of the enormously talented and much-beloved Dickens, whom he calls "the Inimitable"; he is the Salieri to Dickens' Mozart. He is one of the most contemptible and unreliable narrators you will ever encounter, a vain,weak, whiny, self-absorbed, delusional, defensive loser. Yet at times you may find yourself rooting for him or pitying him, only to be reminded a few pages later of why you have spent the rest of the book despising him. It gives nothing away to note that everything he says should be viewed with suspicion.

The book opens on June 9, 1865, when Dickens was involved in a horrific railway accident at Staplehurst. He had been riding in the only car whose passengers escaped harm. The accident affected him profoundly for the rest of his life. Always interested in mesmerism and spiritualism, he became more and more obsessed with cemeteries and London's Undertown, an appalling city-below-the-city where the poor huddled and the criminal element lurked, selling opiates and striking above-ground when possible. Drood is Simmons' fictionalized account of what happens to Dickens (and to Collins) after the derailment. Dickens tells Collins that he encountered a bizarre, hissing creature named Drood flitting among the maimed and dying after the crash, showing particular interest in the fatally injured. Drood had slyly hinted to Dickens, who was attempting to help the victims, that he could be found in Undertown, thus assuring that Dickens would seek him out—a reluctant Collins in tow—as soon as possible.

It's a wild ride from there. There are an Egyptian cult, a stomach-turning rite involving a scarab beetle, an omnipresent and malignant Collins doppelganger who writes better than our narrator and may or may not be visible to others, a monstrous woman with green skin and tusks, several brutal murders, a haunted back staircase, an obsessive retired policeman who has made the capture of Drood his only object, three mistresses (for Victorians, these guys could swing), and literary and theatrical projects galore. June 9 becomes a pivotal date, with some plot-twisting event occurring each year on that day. Simmons blends fiction and fact so skillfully that you will feel the urge to do some research on your own in order to determine where the line between reality and invention lies. No knowledge of the time period is necessary, but the more you know about Dickens, the more satisfying you will find Simmons' exhaustive attention to detail.

Channeling the Victorian fictional voice—the Collins fictional voice—with consummate skill, Simmons has crafted a fiendishly intricate and clever narrative that places great demands upon the reader. The ending appears to settle most questions in ways you may or may not have seen coming. Even so, upon further reflection, you will realize that Drood—like Dickens' unfinished final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood—has left some issues open to eternal, delicious speculation.

[reviewed for Patricia's Vampire Notes by Sandy Rainey]

Sep 4, 2009

Dark Road Rising - Vampire Book Review

Dark Road Rising (Vampire Files)
by P. N. Elrod
Ace, September 1, 2009

Book twelve in the Vampire Files follows the adventures of vampire Jack Flemming, currently residing in Chicago of the 1930s. He owns a night club, Lady Crymsyn, and has made friends within the mobster community. One such person is visiting New York honcho Gabriel "Whitey" Kroun who at the end of Song in the Dark (Ace, 2006) revealed himself to be one of the undead. He carries within a dark, frightening secret. Kroun glimpses bits of information about his mysterious past, but his memory serves him poorly, and he must search through dangerous territory to find answers. For Jack the psychic wounds he suffered when tortured by the psychopathic thug Bristow have yet to heal. Still he offers to help the clearly suffering Kroun. That help, however is rebuffed.

As usual Elrod does a fantastic job constructing well developed characters and a fast paced plot. Unfortunately the first quarter of the book is mostly backstory filled with names and events of previous novels having little to do with the main plot. However, once the story takes off it is impossible to not keep turning the pages. Fans of this popular series will definitely want to read this latest installment. Probably there is enough background offered that someone new would be able to enjoy it.

[A version of this review appeared in Library Journal Aug. 15, 2009. Reprinted with permission of Reed Business Information.]

The Vampire Files series

Bloodlist (Vampire Files, No. 1)

Life Blood (Vampire Files, No. 2)

Bloodcircle (Vampire Files, No. 3)

Art in the Blood (Vampire Files, No. 4)

Fire in the Blood (Vampire Files, No. 5)

Blood on the Water (Vampire Files, No. 6)

A Chill in the Blood (Vampire Files, No. 7)

The Dark Sleep (Vampire Files, No. 8)

Lady Crymsyn (Vampire Files, No. 9)

Cold Streets (Vampire Files, No. 10)

Song in the Dark (Vampire Files, No. 11)

Dark Road Rising (Vampire Files, No. 12)